Friday, August 3, 2012

What are you doing with your Grass Clippings?

Last summer I remember listening to my older sister complain about how many weeds they had in their garden and how they just couldn't keep up with the weeding. (She has about 1/4 of the garden space that I do.) I made the comment that I hardly ever have to weed because Jacob and I put all of our grass clippings down into our garden. She then told me how they haul all of their grass clippings to the dump.  I then gave her a stern talking to about never taking her grass clippings to the dump, because they are amazing for your garden.  Not only do grass clippings keep the weeds down, but they lock the moisture into your garden and add nutrients to your soil. My kids and I have spent the last month visiting our family in Utah and I was happy to see that my sister, even though she didn't plant her garden this year has at least been putting her grass clippings into her garden space to control the weeds. So I have since been trying to convince my dad to do the same.  He has been a little reluctant, but he did put some down into part of his garden and wow what a difference, I may have him converted. I took some photos of  some of the areas of his garden. I wish I had before and after pictures but I didn't think about it at the time so you will have to take my word for it. 

So here is a part of his garden where there are no grass clippings down. I had already cleared this row of weeds so that explains the lack of weeds, but as I was weeding you could really tell the difference in the amount of moisture in the soil.  This was at about 10 O'Clock in the morning and it had rained a bit the night before.  The soil here was already dry and well very hard to weed.

Here is a section of the garden where my dad finally broke down and put some grass clippings  into the garden.  There were hardly any weeds here and the few that had come up were easy to pull because the soil here was still very damp from the rain the evening before.

This is not the best picture but I pulled some of the grass back here and the soil was still dark and very moist.
Now here is where I wish I had a before and after picture but a week and a half ago this row of squash was about half the size it is now. I thinned some of the squash out and my dad put some of his grass clippings around the base of plants and covered this row.  They have also had some rainfall which has been great, because they hadn't had any in about 90 days. But if you look at the garden overall you can definitely tell a difference between this row and the others. It is flourishing much more than the others and has hardly any weeds and no weed killer was used.

We encourage you to use grass clippings or other organic means (leaves, compost, etc.) to control the weeds in your garden. Using chemicals like roundup to kill weeds in your garden means those chemicals are going into your plants and then into your body. I have heard that Roundup can stay in your soil for as long as 20 years. Part of the benefit of planting your own garden is to avoid chemical laden fruits and veggies. Give grass clippings a try and see if it doesn't help your garden to flourish too.

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